Bombs in two majority Shi'ite Muslim cities in southern Iraq killed 28 people on Thursday, police and hospital sources said.
Scores were wounded in the blasts, which struck during a month Ashura, a holy month for Shi'ites who are often targeted by al Qaeda's Iraqi affiliate and other Sunni Muslim insurgents.
Two explosions near a restaurant in the city of Hilla, 100 km (62 miles) south of Baghdad, killed 26 people.
In the city of Kerbala, a car bomb near a bus terminal where Shi'ite pilgrims usually gather killed another two people, a spokesman for the local health office said.
Violence in Iraq has eased since the carnage of 2006-2007, but Sunni Islamists still launch frequent attacks, seeking to reignite sectarian strife and undermine the Shi'ite-led government's efforts to provide security.
On Tuesday, car bombs targeting Shi'ites in mourning processions killed 14 people in Baghdad.